Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Students Assess the Health of a Forest

Our 7th grade students are heading out for a field experience at the Lake Wilderness Arboretum.  This week students from Cedar River Middle School are out in the woods and next week it will be Tahoma Middle School.

Students are applying what they have been learning in science class to assess the health of the forest and getting a chance to give back to our community by assisting with trail restoration.

Following the Urban Forester Protocol, teams of students marked out circular plots in the forest using ropes and flags. Then they measured and identified the trees within the circle, observed the canopy cover, and removed invasive plants such as holly.  Students will be analyzing their data on the health of the forest plot and making recommendations to the arboretum board of directors on actions necessary to maintain or improve the health of the forest plot.  This provides an authentic audience and real work for our students to engage with as they apply their learning in the classroom.  This is truly Classroom 10!

For the remainder of their time at the arboretum students engaged in a service project, practicing our Tahoma Outcome Community Contributor, working to restore access to the forest trails by clearing downed branches.  It was a big job after the ice storm last winter!

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